What we do is important to us. Here is what we mean by meaning.
We want to know who is growing our coffee. We have established direct, long term relationships with the people who produce our coffee. We visit the farms, talk with the farmers, cup coffees together and share our knowledge so that they can produce the best coffee, and get the best price for it. These relationships let us verify for ourselves that the farmers are getting a fair price for their crops and that they are producing the highest quality coffee possible. It is not enough, for us, to just pick a faceless name off of a coffee broker's list.
Cooperative Coffees (www.coopcoffees.com)
Cooperative Coffees is our green bean importing collective. We are 24 roasters from the US and Canada who, as a group, buy direct from the farms. We are committed to building and supporting equitable and sustainable trade relationships for the benefit of farmers and their exporting cooperatives, families and communities. We always pay higher than the fair trade minimum price, and have the documentation to prove it.
Fair Trade Proof (www.fairtradeproof.org)
Paying a fair price is just the beginning of this relationship. Our trade model includes pre-financing, sharing information, and working together for higher quality coffee. fairtradeproof.org is a website where you can trace our coffee from the farm to the roaster. You can view the actual documentation (contracts, organic certificates, shipping documents, etc) for each coffee. This way you can see what we actually paid to the farmer cooperative.
Transparency makes fairness possible because it makes hiding the truth impossible. Use this site to trace your coffee or to learn about our deep commitment to a higher standard of trade.
FTF members foster partnerships with producers, because they know these connections are a highly effective way to help producers help themselves.
Fair trade is not about charity. It is a holistic approach to trade and development that aims to alter the ways in which commerce is conducted, so that trade can empower the poorest of the poor. Fair Trade Organizations seek to create sustainable and positive change in developing and developed countries.